GB flags on number plates still legal post Brexit
23 September 2019
The GB flag on your number plate will still be legal after Brexit, regardless of the outcome, though drivers will need to display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle when travelling abroad.
It will still be legal to display GB number plates after Brexit, with or without a deal
UK number plate suppliers are safe to continue producing number plates with the GB and EU stars after Brexit, regardless of whether we leave the EU with a transitional deal, a no transition deal or with no deal altogether. The EU directive which permitted UK plates to include a GB flag was replicated into UK law in 2001, at which time the digits were shrunk down in order to incorporate regional flags as an optional element. The EU flag will remain legal on number plates with the GB identifier (hereafter used interchangeably with “GB number plates”) after Brexit until the government chooses to amend this law. Currently there are no plans to do this and it is unlikely to become a priority in the near future.
Whether we leave the EU or remain, the GB number plate system will remain unique to Britain, due in part to government involvement and a thriving secondary market. Brexit will not affect the current style format of British plates, which is currently set to continue until 2050. Drivers can also opt for blank plates or national identifiers such as the Union Flag, Cross of St George, Cross of St Andrew or Red Dragon.
What you should do when travelling abroad?
Following Brexit, UK drivers will need to display a GB sticker on the rear of their vehicle when travelling in the EU, even if the vehicle has GB number plates. The GB sticker, which has always been an alternative to the GB identifier, will be required to fulfil all Vienna Convention obligations regarding the vehicle’s country of origin.
Find out more
Take a look at:
- our Advice Centre
- Government guidance on driving in the EU after Brexit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/driving-in-the-eu-after-brexit#gb-stickers-and-number-plates
- The Vienna Traffic Convention rules and certified participating countries: https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetailsIII.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XI-B-19&chapter=11&Temp=mtdsg3&lang=en